This Week in Albany

Week ending June 8, 2018

Legislative Update

The drama in the State Senate continued this week as the Democratic and Republican conferences continue to be evenly divided at 31 members after Senator Tom Croci’s (R-Suffolk County) return to Naval service.

With the house so closely divided, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (D) has been frequently presiding over session. In New York, the Lieutenant Governor has the authority to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. In an apparent swipe at the Governor for sending Hochul to preside over session, the Republican majority voted to override a gubernatorial veto for the first time under Governor Cuomo’s tenure. The vote to override the governor’s veto was unanimous. While the veto override is not expected to be taken up by the Assembly, the move seemed to have its desired effect as the Lieutenant Governor did not preside over session for the rest of the week.

Despite the continued uncertainty, the Senate was able to pass legislation this week, including several bills of importance to CSEA. These bills included:

  • S.8234 – Marcellino: This bill would require school safety plans to include policies and procedures for school bus safety and require that school safety teams include bus drivers.
  • S.8200 – Marcellino: This bill would prohibit the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities from outsourcing existing State-operated Individualized Residential Alternatives.
  • S.8805 – Rules: This bill would allow employees of Nassau County to receive a step increase if a wage freeze is ordered by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

For more information on legislation being supported by CSEA, please visit our website.

At a Glance

The Legislature will be in session for four days next week. There are seven remaining session days on the legislative calendar. Session is scheduled to conclude on June 21st.

In the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he was cancelling that house’s planned August recess. The House is still scheduled to adjourn on July 26 and return after Labor Day. Congress is working to pass federal spending bills before the September 30 fiscal year deadline.

Never Quit Fact of the Week

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 94% of unionized workers have access to employer-provided health benefits. Only 67% of non-unionized have access to such benefits.